R. Kelly Sentenced to 31 Years in Prison on Racketeering and Sex Trafficking Charges

R. Kelly, the disgraced R&B singer, is currently serving a 31-year prison sentence in a New York federal court after being found guilty on racketeering and sex trafficking charges in 2021.[0] The 56-year-old has also been found guilty on three counts of child pornography and three counts of child enticement, and was accused of abusing four people, three of which were minors.[1]

Court proceedings have revealed a number of horrific details regarding Kelly’s actions.[2] Although Kelly was acquitted of a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge accusing him of fixing his state child pornography trial in 2008, prosecutors showed the jury three videos that they said showed Kelly having sex with Jane, including one that showed him telling her to lay on the floor while he urinated on her.[3] Pauline, another victim, testified that she and Kelly “f—ed a lot” and that she participated in numerous threesomes with Kelly and Jane between the ages of 14 and 16.[3]

At the sentencing hearing, several of the women who accused Kelly of abuse took the stand.[4] Jane, one of his victims, said in a statement: “When your virginity is taken by a pedophile at 14…your life is never your own” and added, “I will never get back what I lost to Robert Kelly.”[4] Nia, another accuser, addressed Kelly in court, saying, “Now you are here…because there is something wrong with you. No longer will you be able to harm children.”[4]

Prosecutors had asked the judge overseeing the sentencing hearing to order Kelly to serve a 25-year sentence only after he completes a 30-year term. His lack of remorse and offences against children were mentioned.[5] However, Kelly’s attorneys argued that their client was already facing an effective life sentence with the 30-year term, and that the government was seeking to convict him on charges for which he was acquitted.[6] In the end, the judge ruled that all but one year of the prison sentence would be served simultaneously with the previous sentence.[7] Two of Kelly's accusers petitioned the judge to impose a severe penalty on him.[5]

At the beginning of the hearing, Leinenweber rejected the government's assertion that Kelly had intimidated underage girls into having sex with him.[5] Kelly's legal team has determined to file an appeal against the rulings in both New York and Chicago.[7]

0. “R. Kelly gets new jail term over child abuse images” RTE.ie, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.rte.ie/entertainment/2023/0223/1358511-r-kelly-gets-new-jail-term-over-child-abuse-images/

1. “R. Kelly Sentenced To 20 Years For Chicago Federal Sex Crimes Case” TMZ, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.tmz.com/2023/02/23/r-kelly-sentenced-chicago-federal-sex-crimes-case-child-pornography/

2. “R Kelly gets ONE additional year in jail for child sex crimes” Daily Mail, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11785445/R-Kelly-jailed-just-ONE-YEAR-pedophilia-federal-judge.html

3. “R. Kelly gets one additional year in prison for Chicago conviction” CBS Chicago, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/live-updates/r-kelly-sentenced-chicago-sex-crimes

4. “R. Kelly Has Been Sentenced to 20 Years for Sex Crimes Against Minors” Vogue, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.vogue.com/article/r-kelly-sentenced-to-20-years-for-sex-crimes-against-minors

5. “R Kelly avoids lengthy addition to prison sentence” Al Jazeera English, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/2/23/r-kelly-avoids-lengthy-addition-to-prison-sentence

6. “Singer R. Kelly sentenced to one year on federal child pornography conviction” CNBC, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/23/singer-r-kelly-sentenced-to-one-year-on-federal-child-pornography-conviction.html

7. “R. Kelly Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison For Child Pornography Case” Variety, 23 Feb. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/music/news/r-kelly-sentenced-20-years-child-porn-case-1235533541/

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